We return to the O2 Academy in Glasgow for ICW’s annual summer weekender. The big loss from this card was the Zero-G title match between Mark Coffey and Joe Coffey, with both men being pulled because of NXT UK commitments.

Insane Championship Wrestling
Shugs Hoose Party 5 – Night 2
July 29, 2018
O2 ABC Glasgow
Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Guest commissioner for the evening was Jeff Jarrett, and the show began with a love-in promo from Mark Dallas about how happy he was to see Jarrett in ICW, presenting the WWE Hall of Famer with a guitar. As always, your commentators were Billy Kirkwood and William Grange.

Kez Evans def. BT Gunn

This was a match set-up the night before after Evans’ attack on Gunn after his match with WALTER. As a big debut for Evans, this was quite good. Gunn dominated early on, but an awkward fail on the guardrail on the outside gave the young trainee an opportunity. Gunn came close to victory with a top rope Gunnshot and then attempted his patented Technodrome DDT, which Evans reversed into a low blow and a Gotch piledriver for the win, mirroring his attack on Night 1. This was a fun way to start the show, although I could have done without Kirkwood repeatedly likening Evans to Larry Zbsyzko. **3/4

After the opening contest, Lionheart hit the ring. He was fresh off a big win the night before against long-time adversary Jackie Polo and much as I expected, he said that he had proved all he had to prove and called for a World Title shot in the main event of Fear & Loathing at the Hydro in December.

The Kings of Catch def. The Hunter Brothers

I’m a big fan of the Hunter Brothers, I think they are such a slick team, and I think they’d be well worth further bookings in ICW, despite the tag division having as much depth as it’s probably ever had. Early on the Kings of Catch tried to isolate Jim, before a hot tag to Lee managed to more or less even the score. Both teams had moments with some fun tag team manoeuvres and looked close to winning before Girvan & Faith earned their biggest win to date in ICW as a team. They threw Lee out of the ring, reversed Jim’s double springboard back elbow attempt with two superkicks to the back and landed an Apter Burner for the victory. A fun, well-paced tag team match that was easily the Kings best performance as a team. ***1/4

Aspen Faith called for a mic after the match, saying that it was about time that the Kings were rewarded for their consistence with a tag team title shot. Chris Renfrew then came out and hit both men with a chair, before managing to get a ‘sweaty bawbag’ chant going. He called out both men for a match at the Garage show later this month – the Kings against Renfrew and a partner of his choosing. I guess this is the Renfrew school of booking now – get the young talent over by beating him. I’d expect the Kings to be in the tag team title match at the Hydro, but this company is hard to predict.

Andy Wild def. Jody Fleisch

Wild made his return to ICW earlier in the year and is now a permanent member of the roster, so it wasn’t a total shock to see him go over here. The two men enjoyed grappling exchanges early on, as Wild tried to use his size and Fleisch countered with his speed and agility. The match as a whole was worked at a nice clip, with Fleisch reflecting the story of his ICW career, coming close to victory and impressing but falling short. In the end Wild managed to land a Gutwrench Powerbomb to get a second consecutive win in ICW. ***

We were then treated to a promo by Jarrett, who was promptly interrupted by Jackie Polo. To be quite honest I’m all in on Jackie Polo’s new cowboy gimmick, he’s hilarious and it seems to have given him a new lease of life. Jarrett refused his request for a rematch with Lionheart, instead booking him in a matching with the returning Grado!

Grado def. Jackie Polo

This was your standard Grado fare. Polo worked him over with strikes and grappling holds before Grado landed an electric chair and fired up. Grado went for the roll and slice, only to be cut off with a lariat and then Polo grabbed both the guitar that had been gifted to Jarrett earlier in the show and the polo mallet. Jarrett stopped him using the mallet, which allowed Grado to land a Wee Boot for a near fall. Grado attempted to use the guitar, but Double J showed him how it’s done, clocking Polo and allowing to secure a win in his return. *

Aaron Echo def. Jeff Cobb

My first thought in this match was what great booking it was from Mark Dallas. Finally he seems to have realised that whilst nostalgia definitely sells tickets, the key to good shows is booking the likes of Cobb, Angelico and WALTER and not a completely past-it Super Crazy. That said, I was entirely unsure why Echo went 50/50 with someone like Cobb and then got the win. I understand the logic, but I feel Echo gains more here from looking valiant in defeat against an international star. Echo eventually got the win by reversing the Tour of the Islands into a discus forearm, before connecting with a pump handle driver. I still remain convinced that the plan for Echo is a big singles match with Kenny Williams at the Hydro. **1/4

Following that, Mikey Whiplash made his way to the ring. After teasing retirement the previous night, Whiplash seemed to be indicating something big at the Hydro. He was interrupted though, by Red Lightning, who offered him a spot in Rudo. Whiplash refused, which led to him being beaten down by Bram and Iestyn Rees. Ravie Davie tried to help, but got low blowed by Bram, leading us into the next match…

Texas Deathmatch
James Storm def. Ravie Davie

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this. I thought Storm did what he always does and looked solid, but Davie gave a strong showing in defeat and leaves with his reputation enhanced. He tried to take the fight to him, landing a flip dive off one of the stands in the arena, but always looked a bit short. The match was a prolonged beatdown, booked to show Davie’s heart and that he made the punishment worse. Storm got nearfalls with an Eye of the Storm powerbomb through a table and a beer bottle shot to the head. Davie had a moment, managed to land a top-rope hurricanrana into the tacks, but never really looked like winning. A Last Call superkick should have been enough but Davie again kicked out. Storm tied him up with cable ties acquired from the audience, landing three more, the last with the tacks poured into Davie’s mouth, for the win. For this was, and what it was intended to be, I thought it did the business. It’s impossible for me to star rate though.

Post-match Storm attacked Davie. Xander tried to stop him, only to get put down himself. Joe Hendry’s intern Leyton attempted the same, only to eat a powerbomb into the tacks. Hendry then ran Storm off, and that’s where the post-match stuff really kicked off. Hendry cut a promo about his career and then laid into Leyton, telling the youngster that if he didn’t hit Davie with a chair he’d get him and Davie blackballed from the rest of the UK. Leyton hit him and was then pressured into a further beatdown as Hendry walked away laughing. Leyton soon ran away into the crowd crying after attacking his friend, with Xander helping Davie to the back.

Some will hate that segment, but I thought it was brilliant. It established Hendry as a callous bastard and potential top heel, it allowed Davie to garner more sympathy and gave them an opportunity to do something more with Leyton, someone they think a lot of. I’m intrigued to see where all three men go from here.

ICW Women’s Championship
Viper (C) def. Kasey & Martina

Kasey is now being managed by The Wee Man, who cut a promo before the match about the patriarchy in wrestling before poking fun at Martina and Viper. His point that the snake in Viper’s entrance video is actually a cobra and not a viper was superb and got a great crowd reaction. As for the match, it was pretty good and up there for match of the night. Kasey and Martina went for the age old routine early on of working together against the bigger woman, only for it inevitably to break down. Viper is great in these environments and she did a bit of comedy with Martina’s beer cans alongside her power moves and top-rope cross body.

Kasey got three nearfalls with running knees, before trying to change things up with a baseball bat. She hit the ring post and dropped it under the ring, and when she went to retrieve it, she was met by Aivil! Aivil chased Kasey to the back, leaving Martina and Viper left. Normally I’d hate the interference but I thought it added depth to the women’s division, which ICW has been crying out for. Martina came close with a codebreaker but eventually succumbed to the champion, who landed a cannonball and a Viper driver to retain her title. ***

ICW World Heavyweight Championship
DCT def. Stevie Boy (C)

The stipulation of this match was that the loser would have to leave the UK. Nonsense like that is what has put people off ICW before and it isn’t helped by over-the-top commentary from Billy Kirkwood, talking about it being as though people have died – we live in an era of social media and email buddy! I would usually attempt to recap the match, but in terms of one-on-one wrestling there was only about four minutes worth. The rest was dogged by interference from any number of Kay Lee Ray, Aspen Faith, Lewis Girvan, Viper and Coach Trip to the point that it was more or less impossible to care. DCT eventually won his first ICW title after hitting a low blow, a pop-up German suplex and then a running knee. This was long, dull and frustrating. DUD

Final Thoughts

Aside from the truly dismal main event, this was another perfectly solid show from ICW. They seem to have some momentum now heading towards Fear & Loathing in December and some interesting angles developing. They still lack the in-ring quality to get people’s attention though, and that main event won’t do them any good at all.